Laos, kingdom of a million elephants and temples, is now playing a growing role as host to many of the world's drifters -- the hippies.
GV street and monument
GV zoom to market
MS stall selling marijuana
GV marijuana zoom to cigarette
GV hippies walking along street
GV buying Laotian handicrafts (4 shots)
GV hotel tilt down to tourists
CU hotel sign
GV interior hotel room (4 shots)
GV tourists eating food (4 shots)
GV hippies walking along road with pagoda in the background
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Background: Laos, kingdom of a million elephants and temples, is now playing a growing role as host to many of the world's drifters -- the hippies.
A few years ago, the hippie trail ended at Nepal or Goa in India. today, it's Laos and its Indochina neighbour, the Khmer Republic. Despite the recent and continuing conflicts in these countries, hippies are moving in from Europe, the United States and Australia.
The reasons are simple: easy access inmost market places to marijuana and a cost of living that's remarkably cheap in this age of rapid inflation. The hippies say they can live well in Laos for US$2.00 per day.
The cafes and hotels they frequent aren't listed in any travel guides but their names are well known on the hippie grapevine. A solid breakfast of eggs and bread costa only 40 (American) cents ..... the cheapest hotel rooms from 10 to 60 (American) cents a night with a free night's accommodation thrown in for each week's residence.
At the "Happy House" hotel in Vientiane, the Laotian capital, the Swiss manager charges US$1.80 for a twin room with bath.
But for most on the hippie circuit, the main attraction is cheap marijuana and liberal laws. Sixteen marijuana cigarettes cost only ten (American) cents in the city's main market.
Until recently, Nepal was the destination of hippies of many nationalities. But with the introduction of stricter laws controlling drugs by the Nepalese authorities, the hippies faded from Kathmandu. Now, they've surfaced in Indochina.